First and foremost genetics must have the phenotype to suit the New Zealand environment. This means a sound structure and confirmation as well as a weather safe wool type. Next we put a large emphasis on the ability of a ewe to rear the lambs she is scanned to have. Ewes are culled for flight and assisted lambing. Reducing loses from scanning to weaning is an area we feel the Merino breed can make a lot of progress in. With regard to wool type ewes must have free growing wool that has good staple length and maintains good wool weights. Wool must be well nourished, white and stylish.
On Farm Technology
Over the last twelve months we have entered into the process of getting the entire stud data loaded into a computer programme and electronically tagging all of our ewes. This is allowing us to collect more data easily and accurately. By this year’s ram selling season we hope to have breeding values available to clients who wish to use them. We don’t believe that breeding values should be the sole selection criteria to choosing rams but are a tool that can be used alongside visual appraisal. We have entered two rams into the Canterbury Progeny Trail that will hopefully give us good linkages to other studs. It will however take a couple of years of information to get good accuracies.
In the past we have foot scored all our reserve sires. We haven’t extended this to all our sale rams as through our trail work under our management systems we have found no correlation to the occurrence (or ability to overcome) footrot and the Lincoln Gene Marker score. We look forward to the results from the NZM production science trails and hope to incorporate their findings into our breeding programme.
Property Performance and Benchmarking
Our ewes average 19 microns and consistently cut 6.5kg greasy with our hogget's averaging around 17.5 and cutting just less than 5kg.
Our Commercial Merino ewes are now consistently achieving 120% + lambing with 87% of ewes mated rearing lambs at tailing. Our wether lambs are achieving growth rates that allow them to be killed before the winter while our ewes are still industry leading for wool weights. Graph A shows how our economic farm surplus is trending against the average and gives us that confidence that we are heading in the right direction with our genetics. Graph B, C and D show where we sit in terms of Merino Select ASBV's. Our wool type equivalent is determined by Sheep Genetics Australia based on wool traits.
"I have been using only Armidale genetics with our merinos for over ten years and am always impressed with the quality of rams that we select.
I find it increasingly harder to select rams each year as all the rams we see are such a high quality and extremely even.
The progeny we get from Armidale rams clip a lot of quality wool off a big framed sheep.
We lamb around 115% including two tooth's and finish our surplus hogget's in the spring at 21 to 22kg carcass weights.
Simon and Allan are very passionate ram breeders who take a keen interest in our results and I have no hesitation recommending Armidale rams to people looking for a dual purpose merino."
Richard Gloag - Buscot Station
"Armidale has been supplying us at Glenbrook Station Omarama with rams for 12 years. We find they suit our country very well, big framed sheep that clip a lot of wool and give us the size to get our hoggets to 19/20kgs or better by spring. We acknowledge the Armidale teams commitment to the industry and value their input into our operation."
Simon Williamson - Glenbrook Station
“ We have been purchasing male and female stock from Armidale for a number of years for Castle Ridge Station.
Allan and Simon produce consistent, no fuss, well grown stock which perform well in our harsh environment.
We need high performing dual purpose merinos, and the Armidale genes give us a good wool clip and ewes able to produce lots of big healthy lambs.
Armidale genetics are a large part of the success of our business and a great asset to the merino industry.”
Stud Principals: Allan & Simon Paterson Established: 1954 Flock No. 167 (Horned), 2010 Flock No. 6 (Polled) Stud Classer: A D & S D Paterson Stud Adviser: Chris Bowman (Australia) Ewe Numbers: 1000 Full Pedigree Recorded Sale Method: Private by appointment (February)
Armidale is a fifth generation farm located in the Maniototo. The property is predominantly flat to rolling with two summer run blocks and 120ha of irrigation. On average the property winters around 8000 stock units. The property is prone to summer droughts and long winters.